Thunder Drop Close Game at No. 6 Heidelberg

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TIFFIN, Ohio-- Trine hung tough, but was defeated by no. 6 Heidelberg, 10-8, in a non-conference game Tuesday afternoon at Peaceful Valley.

The Thunder scored six runs in the first two innings, but the Student Princes were able to rally back to earn the victory. Capping off the Heidelberg comeback was a three-run seventh inning. Christian Verde had three hits and knocked in four runs, including two with the go-ahead home run in the seventh for Heidelberg. Eight Thunder players were able to get into the hit column. Ethan Prebynski (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb) stole two bases to become the school's leader in stolen bases in the Division-III era, which dates to 2005. He has stolen 31 bases in his career. Trine fell to 7-12 overall. The Student Princes improved to 16-1 on the year.

Prebynski set the table for a two-run first with a leadoff walk and later stole second and third. Drew Palmer (Hartford, Wisc./Hartford Union) hit an RBI-single to get the Thunder on the board. Palmer later scored on a wild pitch.

Trine tacked on four more in the second. RJ Flowers (Hamilton, Mich./Hamilton) and Jake Kendall (New Castle, Ind./New Castle) each came through with RBI-singles, while Jake LaBounty (Avon, Ind./Covenant Christian) drove in two runs of his own with a single. The Thunder scored six runs on six hits in the first two innings.

The Student Princes fought back into the game with five runs over their next two at bats. Heidelberg got a pair of runs on RBI groundouts in the second, while Verde dealt the big blow in the third with a two-run double. Alex Grove added an RBI-single to cut the score to 6-5.

The pitching for both teams settled in over the next several innings until the Student Princes took the lead in a two-run sixth. Joey Rydzewski tied the score with an RBI-single and TJ Harkness hit a sac fly to give Heidelberg the lead.

The Thunder were able to regain the lead in the seventh when Kory Shackle (Butler, Ohio/Mount Vernon) ripped a two-run double to right center. Kendall was hit by a pitch and Christian Heustis (Huntley, Ill./Huntley) singled to set the stage for Shackle's hit. Heustis had a two-hit afternoon, as did Travis Bandt (Gaylord, Mich./Gaylord).

Verde's two-run homer gave the Student Princes the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Clayton Wielinski added a sac fly for an insurance run later in the inning.

Derek Hendrixson shut the door from there to earn his sixth save of the season. Hendrixson struck out two in his two scoreless innings of hitless work.

Trine returns to MIAA play this Friday when they open a conference series at home against Alma. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.